paper trail

The National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” writers; Dayna Tortorici on Vivian Gornick’s expressiveness

Vivian Gornick. Photo: Mitchell Bach

The National Book Foundation has announced its “5 Under 35” list of promising young writers.

The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans list for 2020 includes writers and journalists such as Nikole Hannah-Jones, Kiley Reid, Sarah M. Broom, and Yamiche Alcindor, among others.

Haymarket Books is offering a free e-book of Can't Pay, Won't Pay: The Case for Economic Disobedience and Debt Abolition by the Debt Collective, with a foreword by Astra Taylor.

For the New York Review of Books, Dayna Tortorici looks at memoirist Vivian Gornick’s life and work, and her “commitment to the question of what it means to feel ‘expressive.’” Feminist and Communist lenses helped the writer feel less “‘abstract’ to herself.” Feminism in particular, Tortorici notes, gave Gornick “the confidence to forgo romantic love and the chance to find her footing as a writer. Feminism made Gornick expressive: it gave her a voice, a style, a subject.”

At the New Republic, Jacob Silverman recaps the FBI’s decades-long surveillance of Soviet dissident poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Silverman marvels at Yevtushenko’s star power—the poet packed auditoriums and was a guest on the Dick Cavett Show—and his importance to diplomatic relations during the Cold War, a sharp contrast to poets’ status now: “Today, most American poets work in obscurity—our government would be more likely to send Dennis Rodman than Natasha Trethewey or Louise Glück on a diplomatic mission.”

Tonight at 7 PM EST, Andy Horowitz, author of Katrina: A History, 1915–2015, will give a webinar with Matt Jacobson as part of Yale’s public humanities programming.